How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

Motivational Quote: Focusing on what you can control

“You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.” A.J. Kitt

This is a key message for all those individuals who are wasting so much time and energy worrying about something that is outside of their control, instead of investing their time and energy on what they can control.

We got lucky!!! Update on Mom’s condition after the stroke

First off thank you to everyone who expressed their love and kept my Mom in their prayers, in person, on the phone or online (on Facebook, through Email or on this blog) during this challenging time.

A week ago, my Mom suffered a stroke. (To read more about it check out my previous post titled: The High Cost of Waiting https://relmes.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/the-high-cost-of-waiting/

But we got lucky!!!

The reason I say “we” is because instead of wondering what might have been, we are wondering what is next, and instead of thinking what we could have done in the past to help her, we are thinking of how we can help her in the future and instead of planning a funeral, we are planning her rehabilitation.

As I mentioned in the last post, when the stroke hit, she recognized she was in trouble and she called for help and getting there saved her life.

But as she realizes now, her life in the future will be different.

She is lucky that the damage of the stroke appears to have effected her vision and her memory.

At this time she has lost her right side vision from one o’clock(if you think of looking straight being twelve o’clock) to the right everywhere except on the bottom. This may or may not improve over time.

Her memory has also been effected.

I describe it this way: If all of her memories were on sheets of paper, all categorized and files for easy and quick retreaval, the stroke messed up that filing system and scattered all of the sheets on the floor.

In the first days following the stroke, she had trouble recalling her last name, her telephone number and even the names of her family members. However, she has improved this by studying her “cheat sheets” in order to re-learn these important facts.

Her short term memory has also been effected, because I can have a conversation with her and a few minutes we can be talking about the same things.

A few of things that I have taken away from this learning process;

If you want to learn and anything is possible. Mom has told me many days she will find herself waking up at night and she will invest the time in studying. She view this as a challenge and I am confident that it will pay off. (I have witnessed her improving every day)

Forced learning doesn’t stick. Mom said that when she is trying really hard to remember something it doesn’t come to her, but when she is relaxed things come much easier. Although I give her credit that her frustration level has been incredibly low. I know if I were in her situation I would be incredibly frustrated.  Just think of how much you retained after cramming for exams in school.

Progress happens when it is enjoyable. Although it has been a tramatic experience for our whole family, I for one have thoroughly enjoyed the time that I have spent with Mom this week. We have laughed (Thank heavens she still has her sense of humour), and we have hugged (she instituted a new family rule that we have to hug each other everytime we see each other) and we have just appreciated the time together.

I know that in my training or coaching sessions I often use laughter as a way to open up the doors of learning, in order to help make the message stick.

As of the time of this post, my Mom is still in the Stroke wing at Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/ and will probably be there until at least Friday. Then hopefully she will be able to go home, where she will face a whole new set of challenges.

But if I know my Mom, she will continue to face those challenges with the same sense of adventure and humility that she has demonstrated to me this week.

I will keep you posted on her progress. But in the meantime, keep those prayers coming, because I am convinced they are the reason we are all lucky.